This is my review of the best cushioned basketball shoes in 2021.

All basketball shoes need a good cushion. The game, while fun, puts a lot of stress on your feet and ankles. Extra padding and strong soles help stop such problems, which then gives you the ability to play harder for longer.

Every high-quality sneaker comes with strong padding to protect different parts of your feet. Even so, there are a few brands that truly stand out from the pack.

The following shoes offer a range of premium features you’ll need during games, and then top them off with an advanced cushioning system that other footwear simply cannot match.

Quick Summary

  • Few cushioned shoes come with as many features as the Adidas Crazy Explosive PrimeKnit. The sneaker is fully equipped with special Boost cushion technology, a unique 4 directional anchor collar, and power traction pattern.
  • Adidas Marquee Boost is a reliable cushioned shoe. This lightweight model comes with increased performance and wonderful feedback. It also stable and has fantastic heel support to prevent damage from constant impacts.
  • Few shoes come with the cushion of the Nike Versatile li. The footwear has a modified herringbone pattern and an air pocket in the heel to protect your foot in all scenarios. That, combined with the cushioned insole, creates a fantastic shoe that will keep you at the top of your game.

Who Should Get This?

All players benefit from cushioned shoes, but there are certain types that can truly utilize extra padding.

Larger players, who naturally put more stress on their joints, can always benefit from the great cushion. Players with big feet can also use it as a way to reduce the risk of broken bones.

The following shoes are also perfect for anyone who routinely suffers from knee or ankle issues while on the court.

Though there is no foolproof way to cut down on injuries, extra padding definitely helps to combat the wear and tear that comes with each game.

Best Cushioned Basketball Shoes: What to Consider


Fit is a key part of any good basketball shoe. It is doubly important when looking at cushioned models because, no matter how much padding you have, it won’t do its job if the footwear isn’t positioned in the right place. A good fit prevents such problems and ensures your cushioned shoe does its job.


Cushion is another form of protection, which is important to consider when breaking down footwear. All basketball shoes should keep you protected, and that is where great cushioned shoes shine.

Look for ones that come with strong heel and forefront protection in addition to solid midsole padding. It is also important to focus on shoes that lock in your foot, which increases general stability.

Traction and Grip

It does not matter how much cushion is inside your shoe if you can’t grip the court. Sliding all over the floor not only makes your game worse, but it also opens you up to injuries.

Many cushioned shoes, while great, don’t have solid traction. Special patterns, unique rubber, and interesting soles all provide better grip.

This is especially important for people who like to play ball on different surfaces.

The Best Cushioned Basketball Shoes: Our Picks

1. Adidas Crazy Explosive PrimeKnit

The Crazy Explosive PrimeKnit tops off the list thanks to its special boost cushioning system.

This model makes it so you’re able to run or jump without coming down too hard.

It also provides a nice spring that improves your overall game.

In addition, the shoe comes packed with features. Not only is there is a lightweight neoprene upper to reduce sweat, but it has a power traction pattern, advanced comfort, and a 4 directional ankle collar.

All of that then comes in a sleek-looking shoe that can be worn both on and off the court.

What We Like:

  • Strong ankle support
  • Advanced traction pattern
  • Sleek look lets it be worn as everyday footwear
  • Neoprene Upper is lightweight and breathable

What We Don’t Like:

  • Eyelets could be better
  • Doesn’t have the same lockdown as similar models

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2. Adidas Marquee Boost

Another great Adidas option, the Marquee Boost comes with the same excellent midsole cushioning as the PrimeKnit, but with a few different features.

The retro-looking shoe has incredible traction that sticks to any clean surface and it fits your foot like a glove.

The cushion provides great heel support, impact protection, and increases forefoot responsiveness.

Though it could look a bit flashier, the subdued style goes a long way for some people. The ankle collar helps cut down on injuries as well.

What We Like:

  • Balanced cushioning that protects all parts of the foot
  • Extra support offers premium stability
  • Lightweight upper for added durability
  • Great heel support

What We Don’t Like:

  • Could have better traction on dusty courts or dirty surfaces

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3. Nike Air Versatile li

The Nike Air Versatile li is an advanced shoe that protects you in various ways.

The sneaker lives up to its name, with a great modified herringbone pattern on the rubber sole, as well as a special air-sole pocket to give the heel more cushion.

It also uses a combination of mesh and woven fabric material to increase breathability and an internal lacing system to lock your foot in place.

What We Like:

  • Air-sole heel pocket provides excellent impact protection
  • Combination of mesh and woven fabric
  • Modified herringbone pattern helps your foot stick as you run
  • Internal lacing system creates incredible lockdown and stability

What We Don’t Like:

  • Traction not as strong off of hardwood
  • Padding could be more comfortable

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Useful Tips and Resources

When purchasing basketball shoes, cushioned or not, it always helps to understand the different options on the market. This guide breaks down sneaker types and allows you to make an informed decision.

Reading up on different cushioning options is a good idea as well.

Final Words

Cushioned shoes are a must-have for anyone who plays a lot of basketball. Keeping your feet protected is critical, as even one small injury can sideline you for weeks.

Don’t just buy shoes because they look good. Understand their inner workings, know how they protect you, and always make sure you’re investing in a worthwhile product.